The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Published: September 7th, 2010 (Little Brown/Poppy)
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
The DUFF really took me by surprise. Amber convinced me to read it (THANK YOU!) and I don't think I would've read it anytime soon if she hadn't. Somehow, neither the cover, the title or the synopsis calls to me. It sounds generic, bland, something that doesn't stand out in the field of YA that we have now. But that, cover and that title really don't do the book justice. The DUFF is funny, remarkably honest and in terms of emotions, it's pretty raw.
Bianca is one of those characters who you're most likely to hate in the beginning. She's judgmental, sarcastic, negative and seems to be a bit of a loner, despite the fact that she has a couple of friends. But she really took me by surprise on the pages that followed. She's still sarcastic and a bit of a loner, but she's funny and I loved the honesty of her voice in this book.
As for Wesley, I really liked him as a character. Sure, he's an ass, especially at the beginning, but hey, Bianca is an ass too. Wesley is just as honest and sarcastic as Bianca and together, it just works. I have no clue how, but the two of them together is like two puzzle pieces falling together or something. They both become a better person after getting together and they help eachother to see who they really are and what they really want.
Both Bianca and Wesley have put up a wall around themselves and it comes crumbling down bit by bit after they kiss on that first night in the book. That combined with the writing style and humor had me flipping the pages until I finished the book in one sitting.
Keplinger was able to tell Bianca and Wesley's story very realisticly and I really applaud her way of telling this story without sugar coating anything. I haven't yet read more of her work, but I'm definitely going to pick up another of her books when I have the opportunity. If you're into contemporary and enjoy raw and funny stories, I'd definitely recommend this one.